Solskjaer: What van de Beek will add
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the addition of Donny van de Beek should help boost the number of goals from his Manchester United squad.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the boss explained why the Netherlands international is a perfect fit for the culture he’s trying to nurture at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer went on to give a hint as to how he wants Donny to integrate into his side – and finding the net is high up on the list of the manager’s wishes.
“When we signed Bruno Fernandes, we knew we needed that kind of player, now we've signed Donny and he's a type of player I felt we needed in the squad,” Ole said.
“He's the type of person that will fit the culture, fit the team and will improve us next season and for years to come.
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“Donny is a versatile player; a very intelligent, clever player. He's got loads of energy, enthusiasm, [he’s] developing all the time.
“He scores goals and we need to add goals from midfield. Our forwards scored quite a few goals last season, Bruno came in and scored goals but we need goals throughout the squad because we didn't score enough to be challenging at the top.
“He’ll add his creativity, his reading of the game, his understanding of the game. He can see space and arrive at the right time. The timing of his movement is fantastic.”
Our new no.34 has been on Solskjaer’s radar for a while, having netted his first senior goal against the boss’s old club Molde in the Europa League five years ago.
Ole has become more and more familiar with van de Beek as a player since that game, although he revealed he also used his footballing network, including former United goalkeeper and current Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar, particularly when it came to assessing the player''s character and suitability for life with the Reds.
“I’ve actually followed Donny!” added the boss.
“His first goal, he scored against me, against Molde in the Europa League in 2015. We drew one each at the Amsterdam ArenA and he scored a fantastic header. He was brave!
“I’ve liked his infectious attitude, when you have a smile on your face, but you see players with that drive and desire.
“That’s one way [to judge a player]. You need to use your eye but, of course, I’ve spoken to Edwin and other players that know him.
“You just use the people you know and trust to scout that character as well.”